Pain Relief Beyond Belief





From Blakey to Brown, Como to Costa, Eckstine to Eldridge, Galbraith to Garner, Harris to Hines, Horne to Hyman, Jamal to Jefferson, Kelly to Klook; Mancini to Marmarosa, May to Mitchell, Negri to Nestico, Parlan to Ponder, Reed to Ruther, Strayhorn to Sullivan, Turk to Turrentine, Wade to Williams… the forthcoming publication Treasury of Pittsburgh Jazz Connections by Dr. Nelson Harrison and Dr. Ralph Proctor, Jr. will document the legacy of one of the world’s greatest jazz capitals.


Do you want to know who Dizzy Gillespie  idolized? Did you ever wonder who inspired Kenny Clarke and Art Blakey? Who was the pianist that mentored Monk, Bud Powell, Tad Dameron, Elmo Hope, Sarah Vaughan and Mel Torme? Who was Art Tatum’s idol and Nat Cole’s mentor? What musical quartet pioneered the concept adopted later by the Modern Jazz Quartet? Were you ever curious to know who taught saxophone to Stanley Turrentine or who taught piano to Ahmad Jamal? What community music school trained Robert McFerrin, Sr. for his history-making debut with the Metropolitan Opera? What virtually unknown pianist was a significant influence on young John Coltrane, Shirley Scott, McCoy Tyner, Bobby Timmons and Ray Bryant when he moved to Philadelphia from Pittsburgh in the 1940s?  Would you be surprised to know that Erroll Garner attended classes at the Julliard School of Music in New York and was at the top of his class in writing and arranging proficiency?


Some answers  can be gleaned from the postings on the Pittsburgh Jazz Network.


For almost 100 years the Pittsburgh region has been a metacenter of jazz originality that is second to no other in the history of jazz.  One of the best kept secrets in jazz folklore, the Pittsburgh Jazz Legacy has heretofore remained mythical.  We have dubbed it “the greatest story never told” since it has not been represented in writing before now in such a way as to be accessible to anyone seeking to know more about it.  When it was happening, little did we know how priceless the memories would become when the times were gone.


Today jazz is still king in Pittsburgh, with events, performances and activities happening all the time. The Pittsburgh Jazz Network is dedicated to celebrating and showcasing the places, artists and fans that carry on the legacy of Pittsburgh's jazz heritage.






Duke Ellington is first African-American and the first musician to solo on U.S. circulating coin



       In Her Own Words

Featured Blog Posts – May 2009 Archive (6)


Hello fellow Jazz lovers, I believe it's time that we start to take a serious look at this concept called SmoothAhead. I know some people may think the name is a little corny or not easy to say, but get pass the name and think about what it represents. With the demise of so many Smooth Jazz radio stations across the country and only a few NPR stations at all, wouldn't it be great if we had stations that played both genres. They could rotate (Traditional or Straight-Ahead) with (Contemporary or… Continue

Added by Living Legends JaZzabrations on May 24, 2009 at 7:00pm — 5 Comments

Death of the Library

Today I was given what could be the most frightening information I could ever get hold of in the respect of our independence as individual Americans. The Pennsylvania state budget proposal ( S.B.) 850 has planned to heavily cut state funding to the Greatest device we have as a Free Nation, our libraries. As this Nation’s recession digs deeper and everyone of us feel the pain, our lawmaking body tries to find ways to slash costs. Those governing the budget have now set their sights on education… Continue

Added by CWR (Fan of Culture) on May 21, 2009 at 5:19am — 6 Comments

Obituary: Randy Purcell / Internationally known jazz trombonist

Died May 16, 2009 Tuesday, May 19, 2009 By Moriah Balingit, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Randy Purcell, with his trombone.

From his Brookline home, where the music never stopped, trombone player Randy Purcell blew his way onto the international scene with his loud and aggressive musical style, becoming ranked among the top dozen trombonists across the globe. Mr. Purcell died Saturday night of complications from diabetes. He was 62.… Continue

Added by Dr. Nelson Harrison on May 20, 2009 at 3:54pm — 3 Comments

Jazz trombonist Randy Purcell made mark locally, nationally

Buzz up! By Bob Karlovits, TRIBUNE-REVIEW Wednesday, May 20, 2009 Photos

Randy Purcell About the writer Bob Karlovits can be reached via e-mail or at 412-320-7852. Randy Purcell attacked jazz performance and education with the same zest that marked his heyday as a powerhouse trombonist with the Maynard Ferguson Orchestra. Mr. Purcell, 62, a mainstay in the Pittsburgh jazz scene for many years, died of complications from… Continue

Added by Dr. Nelson Harrison on May 20, 2009 at 3:30pm — 1 Comment

RIP Randy

So sad to hear of the passing of Randy Purcell.
We all knew he was sick for a long time, but the news is still tragic.
We lost another legend today.
I guess Maynard was saving a seat in his band up there...

Added by Lou Spagnola on May 17, 2009 at 10:00pm — 10 Comments


As we are approaching the 1200 member level, it has come to my attention that our recent practice of e-blasting current live local events has been both favorably and unfavorably received. Since this network is about values (personal, professional and artistic), I will try to address both the positive and negative feedback I have received thus far and invite any and all comments in response so that we can best learn how to serve the membership.… Continue

Added by Dr. Nelson Harrison on May 1, 2009 at 4:02am — 7 Comments

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